Blue River Safari has been fined $35,000 for baiting bears — the largest fine amount ever delivered in a B.C. court for attracting dangerous wildlife. The fine delivered on Nov. 25 is a precedent-setting case for British Columbia Conservation Officer Services. Photo by Bruce Warrington

Blue River Safari has been fined $35,000 for baiting bears — the largest fine amount ever delivered in a B.C. court for attracting dangerous wildlife. The fine delivered on Nov. 25 is a precedent-setting case for British Columbia Conservation Officer Services. Photo by Bruce Warrington

B.C. tour company fined $35K for baiting bears with peanut butter, meatballs

Case marks largest fine amount ever delivered in a B.C. court for attracting dangerous wildlife

A wildlife tour company near Clearwater has been handed a $35,000 fine for baiting bears, making the largest fine amount ever delivered in a B.C. court for attracting dangerous wildlife.

According to the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, the fine delivered on Nov. 25 against Blue River Safari is a precedent-setting case for the organization.

Siblings Russell and Debra Critchlow were each ordered to pay $17,400 to the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation and were then fined an extra $200.

BCCOS began investigating in August 2017 after receiving a complaint the wildlife tour company had been baiting bears to increase sighting opportunities for clients.

READ MORE: Two cases of feeding bears being investigated in B.C.

Officers used electronic surveillance during the investigation and provincial court in Clearwater heard the company used cranberries, peanut butter and meatballs to attract the bears.

BCCOS noted such practices by tour companies are unlawful and make other companies within the legitimate industry look bad.

Blue River Safari was also ordered to develop an anti-bear baiting policy as well as undergo wildlife attractant inspections.

“Wildlife tour operators have a responsibility to ensure they conduct business in a lawful manner that is safe for clients, staff and the public,” BCCOS said.

“The primary concern of the COS is public safety. Illegally feeding or placing attractants to lure dangerous wildlife, such as bears, is an extremely dangerous activity.”

Once bears learn to associate humans with food, it creates an extraordinary public safety risk, BCCOS added, noting it hopes the large fine will deter any other would-be operators from a similar incident.

Anyone with information about feeding or placing attractants for dangerous wildlife is asked to call the Report All Poachers and Polluters line at 1-877-952-RAPP.



newsroom@clearwatertimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Terry Keogh, an RDN Transit driver, used his paramedic skills the morning of Jan. 22 after coming across an unconscious woman along his route in downtown Nanaimo. (RDN Transit photo)
RDN Transit driver stops his bus and helps get overdosing woman breathing again

Former EMT from Ireland performed CPR on a woman in downtown Nanaimo on Friday

The intersection at Moilliet Street and Despard Avenue where a 12-year-old boy was struck by an oncoming vehicle early November while crossing at a marked crosswalk. (Mandy Moraes photo)
City staff members, school district officials to discuss high-traffic Parksville intersection

Young boy suffered broken leg after being hit in Despard/Moilliet crossing

An acre of the former ‘Bus Garage’ property has been sold to Naked Naturals Whole Foods Ltd. (Town of Qualicum Beach photo)
Qualicum Beach sells prime downtown property to Naked Naturals for $2.75M

Town to retain more than an acre of land for development of public amenities

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

Black Press file photo
Investigation at remote burned-out Vancouver Island cabin reveals human remains

Identity of victim not released, believed to be the owner of an SUV vehicle found parked nearby

Angela Waldick is the new team photographer for the Nanaimo NightOwls. (Nanaimo NightOwls photo)
Half-blind photographer will help new Island baseball team look picture-perfect

Nanaimo NightOwls say legally blind team photographer is making history

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Dog owners, from left, Marlyn Briggs with Nayla, Marjory Sutherland with Effie and Mick, and Christina Godbolt with Conon walk their pets frequently at the Chemainus Ball Park but are growing increasingly concerned about drugs being found discarded in the area. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Puppy rushed to emergency 3 times after ingesting drugs in Chemainus public spaces

Dog owners walking in Chemainus parks urged to take caution

Most Read